One of the questions quite often asked of us, is regarding the copyright of Islamic materials.
Point 1- No Intellectual Copyright
First and foremost we wish to point out that there is no such thing as intellectual copyright in Islam i.e. a person cannot quote Quran and Sunnah or anything related to this deen and claim it for himself, as this deen belongs to Allah (swt),
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ
Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. (Aali Imran 3:19)
We are commanded to convey this deen, the Messenger (saw) said in a hadith collected in Sahih Al Bukhari,
بَلِّغُوا عَنِّى وَلَوْ آيَةً
“Convey from me even one verse”
and Allah says,
وَمَا عَلَيْنَا إِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ الْمُبِينُ
“And our duty (i.e. the Messengers) is only to convey plainly (the Message).” (Ya-Sin 36:17)
The reward we seek for conveying this deen should be sought from Allah (swt).
وَمَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْر ٍ إِنْ أَجْرِي إِلاَّ عَلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“No reward do I ask of you for it (my Message), my reward is only from the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Ash-Shu’ara 26:109)
Point 2 – The Right of Disposal
Secondly the confusion most people have is that one may be compensated financially for producing a CD for his effort in production etc, however once the product is brought by the buyer he has the right of disposal to do as he wishes with this CD, DVD, book etc. This includes to copy the material and distribute it freely if he wishes. The original seller cannot stipulate any conditions on the buyer once the goods has left his hands.
Point 3 – Copyright is an innovation of the Non-Muslims
If we look to our Islamic History we do not find our scholars copyrighting their works, rather they made it available for the Ummah so that they could benefit from the knowledge.
Unfortunately with the age of technology, some Muslims have started to practice that which never existed in Islam and are following the innovation (bidah) of copyright.
We advise you listen to this lecture by Sheikh Feiz Muhammad which clarifies the points mentioned above: here